Has the X Trans sensor just been outflanked?

Started Feb 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Has the X Trans sensor just been outflanked?
Feb 21, 2013

Nikon's replacement for the D7000 (and apparently for the D300S) will have a Bayer sensor, but will not have a low pass filter - http://www.dpreview.com/news/2013/02/21/Nikon-launches-D7100-24MP-mid-range-DSLR-with-51-point-af-and-no-optical-low-pass-filter

They are apparently able to do this because their experience with the D800E suggests that for sensors with that cameras pixel density or higher, moire is not a common issue. The D7100 has a 24MP sensor, suggesting that had Fuji waited till they had a similar sensor for the X Pro 1, they could have dispensed with the low pass filter without having to dispense with the Bayer sensor, and avoided the issues with RAW conversion that is discouraging many users and potential users.

Unlike the D800E, the D7100 will not be released alongisde in an alternative version that has a low pass filter, and that may be because its pixel denisty is even higher. But the lack of major moire problems with the D800E does suggest that even 16MP APS C Bayer sensors do not need a low pass filter (the D800E's sensor has a pixel density equal to a 15.1MP APS C sensor). Maybe Fuji never needed the X Trans sensor to eliminate the low pass filter?

It is true that Nikon believe D800E users (and prospective D7100 users) are knowledgeable enough to know when their images risk moire, and will either review the images to ensure they avoided it (and retake the image from a slightly different angle or distance if they didn't avoid it) or have software that will allow them remove it in PP. But that is probably true of X Pro 1 users anyway.

So was the X Trans sensor and its attendant RAW conversion issues really necessary?

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Nikon D300S Nikon D7000 Nikon D7100 Nikon D800E
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